IWF established its Infant Care Project to help address a unique challenge that the mothers widowed by the events of 9/11 are facing: taking care of their babies without the physical help and support of a spouse.

The aim is to provide immediate grants to cover the cost of in-home care. Some mothers have hired professional baby nurses, while others have used the grant to cover the cost of bringing in a close relative. The idea is to give each mother the flexibility to choose her own baby care provider based on her particular situation and need.

Heather Higgins, Vice Chairman of IWF and the founder of the Infant Care Project, told the Wall Street Journal: “We don’t see the loss of fathers as the loss of an income, but as the loss of a partner in a family, that extra pair of hands.”

To date the IWF Infant Care Project has identified 102 mothers and 1 father widowed by events of 9/11. The Infant Care Project has given $4,000 to each parent as of August 2002.

Erica Brennan, wife of Firefighter Peter Brennan and mother of Connor Brennan said, “I feel we belong to a “greater family,” a gathering of many wonderful friends, that has embraced me and my children. The love and support that I have received from that “greater family” has given me the strength and courage to carry on.”

A large gathering of women who were pregnant on 9/11 and their newborns — left behind when the terrorist attacks took the fathers of these children — were honored by IWF at a New York City luncheon on Friday, September 6th.

Speakers at the event included:

Nancy M. Pfotenhauer, President of IWF

Libby Pataki, First Lady of the State of New York

Jenna Jacobs, Wife of Ariel Jacobs and Mother of Gabriel Jacobs

Heather R. Higgins, Vice Chairman of IWF and Founder of the Infant Care Project

Michael Goldstein, Chairman of Toys “R” Us Children’s Fund, Inc.

The Honorable George Allen, Senator from the Commonwealth of Virginia

First Lady Laura Bush sent her greetings to the mothers of the Infant Care Project — mothers left behind when the 9/11 terrorist attacks took the fathers of their children.

Marianne Pearl, wife of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl and mother Adam Pearl, also sent a letter to IWF to be read at the luncheon.